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Philosophy Talk: Nonhuman Rights

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If humans have human rights because they’re persons, are there some nonhumans who are also persons with nonhuman rights?

Human rights—like freedom from discrimination and slavery— are fundamental rights and freedoms that every person enjoys simply because they're human. But what about other animals, like monkeys, elephants, and dolphins? Should they enjoy similar fundamental rights? If we can extend the legal notion of personhood to inanimate, abstract objects like corporations, then shouldn’t we also extend it to other sentient creatures? How should we understand the concept of a “person” when it’s applied to nonhumans? What kind of cognitive and emotional complexity is required for nonhuman personhood? John and Ken extend rights to their human guest, Steven Wise, author of Rattling The Cage: Toward Legal Rights For Animals. Sunday 11/24 at 11 am and Tuesday 11/26 at 12 noon.

This program was recorded live at Cemex Auditorium on the Stanford campus.